The Great Debate UK

International crises and the value of Global System Dynamics

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EUROPE-AIR/

-Lord Julian Hunt is a Visiting Professor at Delft University of Technology. The opinions expressed are his own.-

In their different ways, the disruption and damage caused by the ongoing Icelandic Volcano eruption, and the major oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, have underlined how low-probability events can wreak havoc locally and across the world.

Both events underline the continuing need for well-established crisis response by international bodies.  Risk assessments taking into account all the diverse scientific and social interactions should enable the public and private sector to prepare in advance.

•    Although international procedures by UN bodies for dealing simultaneously with volcanic eruptions, meteorology and aviation had been agreed and tested at a technical level since the 1990s, the disruption caused by the Icelandic volcano led EU Transport Ministers call for quicker and more coordinated reaction to such crisis situations.

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